Army chief Gen Bikram Singh said on Wednesday that the allegations of delay by the Army in deploying troops during the recent violence in the state of Assam were ill-founded, as the force was given permission by the defence ministry to move in only on 24 August and it did so that very evening.
He said the Army could not move in aid to civil authorities in a situation with communal and ethnic overtones without political clearance. "We would not like to get involved in such things without government permission," he said.
He said there was no change in the standard operating procedures of the force in this regard.
Asked about his views on the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), he said the force has conveyed its opinion on the issue to the government.
"It is for the government to take a decision on it. We only give our assessment to the government," Singh said. He added that there was a comprehensive mechanism in the state to assess the situation, which included the Unified Headquarters under the state chief minister.
To a query on the infiltration by terrorists through Nepal and the Samjhauta Express train between India and Pakistan using fake passports, the Army chief said, "On terrorists coming from Nepal, our law and order machinery and intelligence agencies are keeping a watch on them and they are being checked.